How outstanding leaders keep their eyes on the prize

In “Off Balance on Purpose”, Dan Thurmon explains that an experienced tightrope walker keeps their head up, with their eyes on the prize, which is the platform in front of them. And while it may look like they are perfectly balanced, there is never a moment when they are at rest; lifting their free leg, shifting their head and shoulders, adjusting the balance pole, adjusting to the movement of the wire, moving their body. And most importantly, not looking down!

Leaders deliberately throw themselves off balance by taking on big commitments. Just as the tightrope walker keeps their eyes on the platform ahead, outstanding leaders maintain a clear vision of their goals and objectives. They stay focused on the bigger picture and don’t get bogged down in minutiae.

“Off balance is our path to living lives that are significant, full of what we deem to be important and worthwhile.”

Dan Thurmon – Off Balance on Purpose 

Like a tightrope walker, the confidence they tap into as they shift and transform their leadership capability to achieve their aims often surprises them.

Equilibrium is not an option for them.

It’s the continuous act of balancing, adjusting, and moving forward that characterises great leaders.

The equivalent of a balance pole in leadership is a personal charter. Enshrining your values in a charter can help give you clarity about what’s important to you and help keep your eyes on the prize. 

Some questions to consider are:

✅ What do you stand for?

✅ What can you be counted on for?

✅ What are the values that are important to you? 

Of course writing a charter and making it visible for yourself is not the end of the story. Creating new habits and practices is the work we need to balance on the tightrope. It is easy to forget your values and what you stand for when times are stressful. 

🙋‍♀️ How do you keep your head up and your eyes on the prize? 🙋  

Best regards, Brian